The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series athletes perform their aerial art in the blink of an eye. Cliff diving expert Joey Zuber breaks down the action-packed three seconds so you don't miss a trick.
Next up, we feature the back triple somersault with three twists, as performed by Kent De Mond.
'It's a very aggressive dive, in the sense that you really need to go for it. It's all about power'
Revelation in Rotation
There are three main elements to the dive. The first part is the twist. Then you have to stop the twist and another interesting thing is that you go into a forward rotation. It’s been a recent revelation in diving, let’s say for the past eight years, of stopping the twist and then entering another somersault. Normally a twisting dive would only contain one and a half somersaults. Now the divers are doing multiple twisting dives with two and a half somersaults.
To take off, you start backwards. The dive Kent does, the back triple triple is fairly aggressive, in the sense that you really need to go for it. It’s all about power. You need to bend your legs and the arms, loose in the shoulders, need to come through really fast up to the ears. There’s a unified connection – you’re pushing with the legs which should come to full extension with the toes off the platform at the same time as the arms should reach up to the ears so that there’s a kind of apex to achieve maximum elevation and speed of rotation.
Back to Front
One arm will be set to one side depending on which way he wants to twist and that starts the twisting action. By the time you finish two and a half twists you are facing a different direction. You’re not facing backwards anymore, you’re facing forwards. The arms come high to stop the twist and are then extended to form a cross or ‘T’ position.
Spot the Water
That takes you out of the twist and that then helps you enter a pike position. The arms will wrap under the knees to pull into the somersault. When you come out of that twist, it’s really hard. You have to pull in with your bicep muscles. You’re working against gravity and also this rotational element. Once you’ve pulled in, you release your arms out laterally once again and that’s when you spot the water. For that whole dive you’ve been blind. You haven’t seen the water once. Then you enter the all-important barani and prepare for the entry.
In Athens, when Kent did the dive he wasn’t quite clear in his head. There’s a term in diving called ‘rushing’ which is when you’re really nervous and you haven’t got your mind at a calm point. He didn’t finish the mechanisms of the dive correctly. What I noticed was that he bent his legs and started to lift his head too early. You need to have the correct extension to take you a good distance away from the platform. With that dive, you really need to push away well with the legs.
Short of Points
He was marked down for being too close to the platform. The judges would have said that was not a safe distance so that's a mechanical mistake which would have been two points docked straight away. The middle part, the twist, was okay, but he landed really short of vertical and he had another two or three points off there which is why he ended up with scores of four and four and a half.